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Freedom varies in direct relation to group stability. The greater the group stability, the greater the freedom. The reverse proposition also holds. Hence, freedom is an opportunity enjoyed in times and places where public policy as interpreted by public authority leans away from restraint toward a greater number and variety of choices. A gradual or sudden change in the community boundaries, will be reflected in lessened or augmented limitations.

SCOTT NEARING, Freedom: Promise and Menace

Freedom as a blessing today might, under new conditions, become a danger and a curse tomorrow. Crimes endanger the general welfare of a community. Freedom for criminals would be a menace to community interests. The community therefore forbids crime, adopts a criminal code listing a great variety of acts which are considered prejudicial to community well-being, and prescribes penalties for lawbreakers. Individuals and social groups who violate the criminal law are restrained or coerced. The nature of crime depends upon local custom or accepted practice. In this very considerable area, by common consent, freedom is officially abrogated, and restraint and coercions are relied upon to protect the community.

SCOTT NEARING, Freedom: Promise and Menace


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